Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Boy in Suitcase - Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis (Audio)

I am always happy to hear from Jill Ovren of AudioGo, because it usually means she is wanting to fulfill my Karin Slaughter fix!  After listening to (and loving) Slaughter's latest "Criminal", Jill mentioned that she had a new mystery series on her hands, and did I want in?  Usually I don't find about these series until there are 14 installments and I can't muster the energy, so I'm always excited to get in on the ground level.  

Jill told me that this novel is the first installment, with a second coming out very soon.  It is written by an accomplished Danish author with over 30 novels and children's books.  Most of her work has been in the fantasy genre, but now is dipping into one of my favorite, mystery thriller.  

Synopsis:  Our heroine in this series is Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, a wife and a mother of two.  While she loves her family, she also is drawn to save the world, which is one of her frailties that is causing some irritation in her marriage.  One day she gets a call from an old friend from nursing school, Karin, asking for help.  Karin gives her a key to a locker in a train station, where Nina finds a suitcase with a drugged, dehydrated 3 year-old boy inside.  Obviously Karin got involved in something she couldn't handle, and is attempting to save this child.  Is he a victim of kidnapping?  Human trafficking?  Nina can't possibly turn this child over to the authorities, where he will surely get lost in the system.  

When Nina finds out that Karin has been brutally murdered, Nina knows it must all be related.  She must hide the child, find his mother, and avoid being killed...but what about her family?  At this point she cannot contact them, even to let them know she is alive.  Will she even have a family to come home to after it is all over?  

My thoughts:  This was a relatively short and fast-paced thriller, with plenty of action and intrigue.  My biggest focus was on Nina...is she a strong enough character to command a series?  I liked her.  She is flawed, she is tough, she is driven by her principles.  She wasn't fully developed here, but I'm willing to hear more.

I can't say that I became attached to any of the other characters except for the child.  Hard not to invest in a toddler who is scared and lost in a foreign country - my mother's heart was squeezed.  With series however, sometimes you have to be patient and let the characterization develop over a period of time.  I can't say I was all that attached to Lucas Davenport or Jack Reacher the first time I met them either.

So stay tuned.  I see that "Invisible Murder" is the next in the series, due to be released any day, so I am hoping to receive this audio as well.  

A few words about the audio production:  The narrator for this audio was Katherine Kellgren.  I've never listened to any of her work before, but I did not have a favorable experience here.  Her voice came across very harsh and cold to me, although I did get used to it after awhile.  

Listening length:  8 hours, 46 minutes (313 pages)

3 out of 5 stars    



13 comments:

bermudaonion said...

You're right - it generally takes us a little while to get really attached to great characters. This sounds like a series worth looking into.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I haven't heard huge excitement over this book, but I agree that it takes a while with a series for the author to get it right!

Jackie Bailey said...

I hope that you fall in love with the characters over the rest of the series. If you do I may well give it a try :-)

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a very interestingly plotted book, but I am sorry that the book didn't have such a heavy impact on you. I agree with the others that it might take some time, but I am hoping that it all comes together for you in the next book!

wordsandpeace.com said...

how tastes can vary! I thought this narrator was fabulous, so lively, carrying so much emotion. here is my review, beginning with my opinion of the narration: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/03/16/2012-16-review-the-boy-in-the-suitcase/

Julie P. said...

I enjoyed this one and I do think we'll get more of Nina's back story in the next one. Or at least I hope we do.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I've only read a few reviews of this book, but this is the first audio review I've seen. Hopefully it will improve with character connection in the later books, since obviously that is extremely important to want to keep up with a series!

Jenners said...

Well, hopefully it will get better as it goes along. A series can take a while to "ripen."

Marce said...

I also gave it a 3 but read the book and feel the same way. I am looking forward to Invisible Monsters to see if I become more enaged and feel more fulfilled.

Hope you enjoy the audio of the next.

Nise' said...

I was an established fan of Katherine Kellgren's so I enjoyed her narration of this book. I liked it enough to want to read the second book.

caite said...

I am just trying to figure out how I can become Jill at AudioGo to be my pal too...lol

Beth F said...

I've listened to Katherine Kellgren before but I don't remember any negatives ... I also can't quite remember which book(s)! Sounds like a good series to jump in at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Aww, thanks for the shout-out, Sandy! You are always on the top of my list when a new Karin Slaughter crosses my path :)
-Jill